Participant Story: Siddhartha Dash

I enjoy getting to engage with a group of people who generally care about improving their communities.” – Siddhartha Dash 



A graduate of University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, Siddhartha Dash majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry while earning a certificate in Nonprofit Management. He was heavily involved in the Pitt community through his work with the Blue & Gold Society, Delta Chi Fraternity, and Project Paw Print.  On top of his school involvement, Siddhartha also founded International Genetic Engineered Machine.  In doing so, he conducted bacterial research, raised more than $37,000, presented his research on P. Acnes at Boston University and was awarded a Silver Medal for his work on E. Coli research.  Siddhartha likes playing soccer with friends. He is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at Partner4Work.

Koehler Powell: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.

Sid Dash: I had never been in a professional setting and workplace before doing PULSE. I have done internships, but nothing as consistent or structured as my current partnership. I wasn’t sure how I would deal with being in that type of environment, but so far it has been great! I’ve learned much about interacting with people in a professional setting, how to act, and how to build relationships. It’s taught me that it’s a setting that I don’t mind being in.

Koehler: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Sid: I enjoy getting to engage with a group of people who generally care about improving their communities. It is often difficult to see the impact that you have on the people around you. However, at Partner4Work, we’re helping the city develop new programs and work with communities like Hazelwood and Homewood on a daily basis. It is really rewarding to serve with people who genuinely care.

Koehler: What do you enjoy most about living in community?

Sid: At Stanton, at least, I enjoy knowing that there’s always someone to talk to. It doesn’t need to be about a problem, but just having someone always there. It’s nice to not have an empty house. I’m someone who likes being around people, so it’s really nice to have such a large house like Stanton. We are all there to look out for each other. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, but we all share the chores and cook together and hang out. Living in community has really helped me build relationships with seven other people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Koehler: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Sid: I’ve been in Pittsburgh for four years, but, for example, I’ve never been to the North Side or Highland Park. I’ve, also, never really experienced downtown on a daily basis like I am now. Seeing these different neighborhoods has really been an eye-opening experience as opposed to just Oakland and Shadyside, where you can sometimes feel like you’re stuck in a bubble. It is surprising to see the stark differences between neighborhoods, such as the North Side and Hazelwood.

Koehler: What is your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

Sid: My favorite “family meal” is the butternut squash soup that Heather makes. I never expected to like squash soup, but I’m definitely going to have to try to make it myself at some point!

Story by PULSE Participant Koehler Powell.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation: